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Support Local

Updated: Jun 11, 2019

From the very start of this #project, I knew that this trip was going to focus on trying to #support #local as much as we can. I have always tried to support local businesses, #artists, #musicians, and #makers when I #travel and on a daily basis, and I didn't want that to change now.

Once I knew I couldn't have the exterior of the #RV look like a #tinyhouse, I knew it was time to get creative. I have always been involved with art since I was a kid, and knowing that Phil also enjoys art made deciding to turn our home into moving art easy! I thought about painted it myself at first..realistically though? No chance in hell! We were both working full time during the entire six month #transformation and finding the time to also #paint the exterior seemed nearly impossible.

I had just recently re-kindled with an old friend of mine who had been working on an #art and #music collab with her brother. Her website is what really got my attention because it had so much detail and was so interactive! Chelsea Rae has always been a talented artist and musician, but after talking to her about her future goals with her project, we both instantly knew that working together was going to be amazing!

We spent a few months talking about ideas for the art..things that I liked, disliked, colors that I hated and style. Chelsea was able to come up with an amazing sketch on what our #home would eventually look like..and boy was she pretty on point! I wanted to support her music and art collab in anyway that I could because it was so inspiring to see the growth, as well as the potential it has to continuing growing. Why not put your best friend's art on your house and show everyone around the United States the talent that exists and is sometimes overlooked? Her band also plans to make some music for us to use in our videos (once we master this whole off-grid, tiny-living thing we will get better at videography I promise).

Check out their website at www.MercuryAndTheArchitects

If you really get into their website, it's pretty awesome! All of the art on the website is done by Chelsea herself and it's very interactive with the music. As you listen to the music you can crack codes and enter new portals of different art and music..GENIUS!

We wanted to bring that interactive art on the road with us, so Chelsea's design with the maze in the background is actually a game that can be played. On the side with our logo, Art Van Grow, the maze can be played starting with the little arrow and working your way from left to right. There is a code painted on the van which will help players figure out what the hidden message in the maze says. If you see us on the road make sure to play the maze and crack the code! We are working on getting a more interactive game on our websites so hand tight!

Art Van Grow and Mercury and the Architects together call the art project Live for the Adventure. Two weeks of non-stop painting and a few over-nights, Chelsea, Phil, and myself got everything done just in time for the event!

Live for the Adventure doesn't just start and stop here though...

I hosted an #event called Live for the Adventure right before we left for our trip which turned out to be a huge success! I reached out to local makers, artists, musicians, creators, and dreamers from the local area in Staten Island, #NewYork. Getting over twenty vendors on board for our event made me feel blessed to be surrounded by so many #talented people in one room...or brewery in our case. We are so grateful for all the support we got from everyone during our entire #transformation and event.

Please check out the Live for the Adventure tab on our website to see more photos and information about the event we hosted. We plan to add all of the vendors involved in the event and their website information on the tab, as well as others that we will support and meet during our travels.

We didn't stop at the art and music!

Mercury and the Architects isn't the only local talent we are bringing along with us on the trip. Ava Quinn's soap is the only homemade soap I have been using now for over two years and I couldn't survive on this adventure without it. I could spend hours talking about my best friends soap, but instead I will just give you a sample when I see you!

But wait there's more....

Finding a compost toilet wasn't easy...or cheap! Most compost toilets we researched we found on blogs, or other travel websites. We had planned to get Nature's Valley for about $1000 bucks. Upon walking around one of my favorite spaces in Staten Island, Maker's Space had exactly what we were looking for!

Jason from Toilet's for People was incredible and built us a custom-built compost toilet for our bathroom! He compared the top leading brand compost toilets, and using all the best features from each, he created Toilet's for People. I was grateful for this find, not only because I could support someone local and from my neighborhood, but mostly because I would have a functioning toilet that actually looks more like a real toilet verses the plastic compost toilets you usually see. The best part about the toilet..THE POTTY SQUATTY! If you don't know what that is, look it up because it will change the way you #poop forever. No complaints yet and we are two weeks in with it! Go check out his website to see the amazing things he does not only in the United States, but globally too!

We are officially two weeks into our adventure and have met some extraodinary local artists, musicians, makers, dreamers, adventurers, and everyone in-between! We are excited to make more lasting networks with everyone and hopefully have some cool stuff featured on the website!

Until next time my friends.

Stay Sexy!

Amanda Marie

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